For Better and Worse: Social Influences on Coronary Heart Disease Risk



From the neighborhoods we live in to those we marry, other people are a part of our everyday lives. Mounting evidence suggests that these social factors constitute risk and resilience influences for coronary heart disease (CHD). The current aim is to summarize the literature into four representative categories relating to CHD risk: social environments, social roles, social resources, and close relationships. The argument is made that these factors moderate and mediate stress and associated physiological responses constituting a psychosomatic pathway to disease.